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2014 04 19 Essay: Sounds of Silence April 19, 2014

Listen to that.

Can you hear the silence?

I never thought of silence much, gave it a second thought, or even part of a third. Silence sometimes always, and most usually meant quiet time, time to relax, time to settle back and enjoy some free time. Silence always seemed so peaceful, so uninhibited, so, silent.

not much thought was ever thought about trying to hear silence. Who would? What would it mean if you could hear the silence? Surely, they don’t go hand in hand, do they? How can you hear nothing? After all, isn’t it rather hard to go around trying to listen to things that don’t even make a sound? How can you hear something that by definition, isn’t there? Why would anyone in their right mind run around trying to find nothing to listen to? It all sounds simply maddening, and rather void of logic, right? Just think of it. Silence is the prelude to, everything. Nothing makes a sound without it.

I have thought about a lot of different things these past twenty three months since seeing the color green for the last time, like wondering about the darkness, and the quieted hush that seemed to follow right behind it. Wondering if the things that were no longer seen, have anything to do with the things that were never heard.

So many new concepts, and equations, and perceptions have crept inside this muddled, foggy mind. So many ways to think about things. So many different outcomes and conclusions and moments of ponderment. Is ponderment a word? If you don’t hear anybody say it. Is it still there?

So many different things to hear, so many different sounds to go along with the things that can’t be seen, so many unusual hums, and chirps, and dings, and rumbles, and clangs, and rattles, and one wonderful noise after another. In a way, perhaps they are all surrounded by silence. Is it the same thing that Simon and Garfunkel were singing about? Did they not hear it too? Did they know something that we didn’t?

Silence has to be the beginning, and the ending of everything that makes a noise. Doesn’t it? It is the start, and the finish of noise. All of the noise. As the Grinch said, “The noise, the noise, the noise!” After all, it was silence that he was originally searching for, wasn’t he?

Through all of the endless commotion and the constant racket of the thundering day, silence is there. All you have to do is listen for it.

If you listen closely, you just might be able to hear the silence. It might be that short burst of nothing, in between this noise right here, and that noise, right over there. It might be a lost memory, hidden in the fabric of a quiet moment from a yesterday gone by. It might be peace and tranquility, trying to find its place inside the rolling rumble of today.

Silence is wrapped around just about everything, but how can you tell? Who would know, unless they were some silence expert or something? I suppose that if you don’t pay attention, you just might never get a chance to hear nothing.

Trying to listen to silence is a contradiction in and of itself, isn’t it? imagine the conversation.

“Did you just hear that?”

“Hear what?”


Hear nothing?”

“Yes, nothing.”

“No, nothing.”

“Exactly! See? You heard it!”

Shades of “Who’s on first” or what?

Through it all, it will always be there. In all its quieted glory, and hushed praise, it will remain with us to the end.

Listen to that.


Can you hear it too?

It sounds as perfect as nothing I’ve ever heard.


5 Responses to “2014 04 19 Essay: Sounds of Silence”

  1. This is interesting. I don’t think there’s any such thing as total silence. Even if you go to the mountains to get away from it all, you’ll still hear birds chirping, the wind in the trees, the babbling of a nearby brook. I think complete silence with not even the hum of my refrigerator would drive me nuts.

    • DP Lyons Says:

      Their has to be a time in everyone’s life when all is still. There just has to be. If it seems as though there never is, perhaps we aren’t listening well enough? Thanks for the note Abbie. dp

  2. Paula Lumb Says:

    Lovely, loving, luscious. What a love letter the first one is, a love letter to the miracle of color, of nature, of the memories of both, of all, still heard and sensed, gone, yet right there, beside and within you. And a love letter to Lynne, so precious. And then the concept of silence, nothingness…within which is held everything, no? Wonderful.

  3. There are many kinds of silence. The silence of an empty house. The silence of the dog tags anc click of nails when a loved dog has gone on ahead to his eternal rest. The silence of accusations unspoken when anger is held in the heart of another and you aren’t really sure what the problem is. The silence of a phone that won’t ring. The silence when a word of appreciation or love goes unspoken. When silence is an empty place in the sounds that should be there. Sometimes listening for the absent sounds that mean all is well can scream in pain or alarm. Silence can speak of peace loss or danger. There are so many kinds of silence.

    • DP Lyons Says:

      Yes, there are so many different sounds of silence, as well as different feelings surrounding those voids of sounds that we call life. Thanks for the note. dp

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